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​Think Illinois has the country's toughest gun laws? Think again.


This article originally appeared in Crain's Chicago Business on May 31, 2018.

By Nina Vinik and Phil Andrew

Nina Vinik is director of the Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform Program at the Joyce Foundation. Phil Andrew is director of Violence Prevention Initiatives for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

In 2017, Chicago suffered 3,550 shootings and 650 homicides, an improvement on the previous year, but still a tragic and unacceptable level of violence that destroys lives and harms communities. As summer begins—historically when the city sees a spike in violence—Crain's and the Partnership for Safe & Peaceful Communities, a coalition of more than 30 Chicago funders and foundations, including MacArthur, Joyce, Polk Bros. and McCormick, examine in a six-part series some proven and promising approaches to reducing gun violence.

Chicago has a gun violence problem because Chicago, like America, has a gun problem.

Where there are more guns and weaker gun laws, there are more firearm deaths and injuries. America has more privately owned guns per capita than any other country, and its gun homicide rate is 25 times higher than in other developed countries.

In Chicago, police take upward of 8,000 illegal guns off the streets every year. They confiscate the guns and arrest the offenders, but the flood of weaponry continues unabated. Police chiefs will tell you we can't arrest our way out of this problem, that we need to get serious about reducing the flow of guns. They're right.

Read the full article here.